Being stuck in traffic jams every day on the way to and from work can be annoying, exhausting and, above all, time-consuming. In Israel, three out of four working people aged 25 to 64 travel up to 20 kilometer to reach their workplace, mostly in private vehicles. Currently, about 62% of all workers commute by car, while only 17% commute by public transport. Globally, the number of cars on the road is increasing as people get richer over the decades. In Israel, society is also faced with a growing population that is putting more and more people on the streets. Congested roads not only take up a lot of drivers’ time, but also lead to accidents.
But what will the future look like? Currently, we can see a shift towards a higher level of automation in driving. For example, one leading technology in the field of AV comes from Israel and is spreading all over the world: the Mobile Eye. The idea is that cameras installed in cars provide information about traffic to a computer that collects and processes information, such as how close a pedestrian is or where the shoulder of the highway is. In this way, the company has collected more than six billion traffic situations from several countries over a period of 18 years and 22 million kilometer driven.
But automation is slow to reach our roads. That may be because cars are on the road for up to 20 years, so technologies are slow to establish themselves in our daily lives. However, some predictions are optimistic: From 2040, there could be cars that autonomously take us from door to door. Some forecasts even suggest that in about 30 years, 70 percent of all drivers on the highways could stop driving altogether.
The benefits of such a situation are numerous. Self-driving cars can ensure the participation of people who, for example, are unable to drive conventional cars because of their advanced age or an impaired vision. When public transportation is not available, automated driving can dramatically improve the quality of life for these people. It will further reduce the number of car accidents, as these are mostly caused by human failure. Factors such as tiredness or slow reaction time will no longer play a role.
What’s more, the many people who commute by car will suddenly have a lot more time on their hands – free time they can use to talk to friends and families, catch up on the latest fashion trends or shop online at their favorite retailers.